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Needs Justification on IPv4 Transfers

Published on July 9th, 2013

IPv4 Market Group believes there is no requirement for RIR needs justification of IPv4 transfers.  Since IPv4 Market Group’s inception in May of 2011, we have advocated for removal of needs justification for IPv4 transfers between LIR’s or ISPs.  Our rationale for this is simple:  we believe that when funds are exchanged at a fair market price to buy IPv4 addresses, this, in itself, establishes need.

The argument that if a governing body such as RIPE, ARIN, or APNIC does not adjudicate who can and cannot prove that they need IPv4 addresses, when the addresses are being paid for, is odd.  The argument that there will be hoarders is equally ludicrous.  When I buy a stock, I don’t have to go to the New York Stock exchange and argue that I have need.  If the price is driven up and I buy my shares of Company X at a high price, and I end up holding the bag when the stock prices fall, then woe is me.   Similarly if an LIR or ISP buys IPv4 addresses at too high a price, and is left holding the bag when prices fall, then woe are they.  This in itself will cause any LIR or ISP to buy only what IPv4 numbers they need, with the full knowledge that the lifespan of IPv4 is limited.

The other argument that IPv4 transactions should be free because the internet was intended to be free, is equally passé.  That train left the station, as the IPv4 markets are well established.

We are not speaking of free allocations such as the /22’s being given from the last /8’s, or the distribution of the last two /8’s of ARIN.  The RIR’s should use whatever rules they deem necessary for these.

Unfortunately, the rules for IPv4 transfers have not caught up with the market.  Companies go to extremes to get free 3 month allocations with needs justifications, rather than costly two year allocations with equally arduous needs justifications, in ARIN region.

Let free markets reign for IPv4 transfers.  This will reduce the hoarding of free IPv4 addresses happening now in ARIN, LACNIC and AFRINIC, it will not cause more hoarding by the “haves”, and it will liquefy a market that is necessary for IPv6 conversion.

- By Sandra Brown